To the Editor:
Your article “Best Way to Fight Global Warming is Plant Trillion Trees” was very informative and interesting. Trying to eke out a living on 20 acres surrounded by polluting coal strip mines in Pike County, Indiana, has instilled conservation in me that will never leave.
When I was in the 7th grade a part of the boys curriculum was a course called “Conservation of our Natural Resources” which was probably due to the impact of the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s. We studied, among other things, planting trees to save our natural resources. The Madison Courier article tells how a trillion trees will rid the world of the past 25 years of carbon pollution (main source of global warming) and cost very little. A trillion trees seems a large amount the Swiss scientists proposed for the world, but, small when compared to the size of the U.S. national debt. The article states planting trees is thousands of times the cheapest climate change solution and the most effective and quickest.
The Department of Agriculture has ineffectively tried to get farmers to plant “Classified Forests.” Classified Forests and other programs are full of restrictions, fines or even jail sentences if you deviate or follow the programs guidelines. One very bad restriction is if you sell your farmland, the new owner must continue the programs’ guidelines. As you might guess, this makes it very difficult to sell.
Standford University environmental scientist Chris Field, who wasn’t part of the study, stated, “But the question of whether it is actually feasible to restore this much forest is much more difficult” seems thoughtless. The world forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate to accommodate expanding housing and industry, increasing farmland, forest fires, building roads, storms and numerous other ways. We haven’t presently been able or willing to replenish trees nearly fast enough. One trillion trees can also help this world get away from many ill-advised substitutes such as plastics and other forever degrading products in our landfills, oceans, lakes, rivers, on roadsides, in our foods, etc.
The world would have the logs to build log homes cheaply for the multimillion worldwide poor families and for those who would love to have a log cabin. I am sure the 11-plus billions of people in this world can come up with uses for a trillion trees if bureaucracies will encourage the people and not get in their way with regulations, codes, excessive taxes.
Our politicians need to initiate sessions talks with other world leaders on climate change instead of dragging their feet. Trees plus solar, wind, hydro and other less polluting energy sources can solve our environmentally acute problems in a short time. Imagine far less flooding, violent storms, tornadoes and more ice buildup on the polar caps. I cannot imagine why it has been so long for humans to even start thinking about planting trees. My wife, Shelby, and I watch squirrels burying walnuts for future food and starting walnut trees. We have come to the conclusion animals are smarter than humans in many ways. Thanks for the article. We need more.